Plenty of buzz has been gathering around the Internet over the past few months about Microsoft’s next-gen console, the “Durango” or the “720”, or the “Xbox” or whatever other codename the developers may have for it. Well, a new report has surfaced and it suggests this may not be only piece of hardware Microsoft has planed for the next console race.
Sources have told The Verge that Microsoft is also planning to release a set-top box console, which will act as cheaper alternative to the company’s full-fledged next-gen console. This other unit is said to run on Windows 8 and will be similar to the Apple TV in the sense it will stream a variety of different Apps, movies, music, TV shows, and of course games.
But this cheaper unit has one unfortunate draw back. It only has enough power to run “casual Xbox Live Games”. In other words, it won’t be able to stream the latest Triple-A games most gamers would typically buy a console in order to play. On the bright side, it does have “always on” capabilities, which means the console can not only start-up quickly and efficiently but it can also resume precisely where you left off.
Apparently this second piece of hardware is part of a bigger Microsoft strategy to make more devices compatible with Xbox software. There’s also murmurs of the possibility of a phone stack for the next Xbox, which could transfer your Xbox Live data to your mobile phone and even TVs with built in Xbox Live software.
If these sources are indeed correct, we can expect Microsoft to reveal this unit, along with the more traditional console sometime in 2013.